Monthly Archives: July, 2011

Update on Kaiser Study

At my appointment on Tues., Dr. Jeske mentioned a retrospective study [1] which looked at all 17,000+ breast cancer patients treated at Kaiser Permanente Northern California during the time period 2000-2006.  They divided those patients into subgroups to study the recurrence rates for women with very small Her2+ invasive tumors but no lymph node involvement.  …

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In Sickness and In Health

Rats.  I just checked.  I neglected to put that clause into the marriage vows Earl recited exactly 16 years ago at Stern Grove in San Francisco.  Luckily for me, he’s an engineer and not a lawyer. Here’s what he (and I) did promise: “I, Earl/Susan, take you, Susan/Earl, to be my partner in marriage as …

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Cancer Lancer

Last weekend I finally got around to reading Lance Armstrong’s inspiring It’s Not About the Bike.  The book chronicles his struggle with late stage testicular cancer and the amazing tale of recovery and cure, winding through his nascent biking career and triumphing (post-cancer) with his lengthy Tour de France domination, doping notwithstanding.  While absorbed by …

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2nd Opinion Schedule

I am currently in the middle of a two-week effort to gather information and opinions from 4 additional oncologists and 1 more pathologist. 1)   This week — I conversed via email with the lead author on the aforementioned Kaiser study [1].  Dr. Fehrenbacher, a medical oncologist at Kaiser Vallejo, provided me with more specific data …

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California Girls

I’ve hit the slot machine carcinoma jackpot.  This recent study concludes that Asian American/Pacific Islander (ding!) women (ding!) born in California (ding!) during the 1960’s (ding!), especially those of Chinese and Filipino (ding, ding!) descent, are much more likely than originally thought to develop breast cancer.  Overall, Asian American/Pacific Islanders are 62% more likely than …

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RAOK

I regretfully report I have but a sporadic history of performing random acts of kindness.  My good deeds are usually of the garden variety:  feeding coins into an expiring parking meter, holding open doors, letting other people go in front of me in line, taking pictures of tourists (with their cameras), helping a fellow parent …

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UCSF Opinion: Adjuvant Therapy

I met with Dr. Moasser, a medical oncologist specializing in Her2 breast cancer, at UCSF Medical Center yesterday.  He gave me a short physical exam, reviewed my mammogram, MRI, surgical, and pathological records with me and then issued his opinion.  Despite the positive factors (clear nodes, small invasive component), he recommends a combination of Herceptin …

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Walnut Creek Kaiser Opinion: No Further Treatment

On Wednesday I drove to the Kaiser Walnut Creek facility to meet with another oncologist, Dr. Huang.  She inquired about the reason for my visit (2nd opinion) and began the conversation by concurring with Dr. Jeske’s recommendation of no further treatment.  She said the data for small-sized, node-negative, Her2 positive breast cancer is limited because …

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Blue Genes

If  you were offered a crystal ball which could predict whether you will eventually develop cancer, would you accept? Approximately 10% of breast and ovarian cancers can be linked to some hereditary predisposition.  Some of the signs that a person might be at this type of risk include personal or family history of: 1)  Breast …

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Heads or Tails

Sorry if this post is a bit cryptic, but I wanted to mention that I had a long and interesting phone conversation with Dr. Jeske today.  I have been mulling the adjuvant therapy decision for the past couple of weeks, seesawing between for and against, and talking with her might have helped me to clarify …

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